Going from rural North Carolina to a college town

Going from rural North Carolina to a college town

Two students from rural North Carolina were featured in a New York Times story about what it's like to go from a rural upbringing to a big college.

Above, photo by Chris Seward for the News & Observer.

What’s it like to go from tiny Rose Hill, North Carolina, to N.C. State?

For John Dunn, a little nerve-wracking.

Dunn was one of two North Carolina students featured in a New York Times piece on students from rural areas and their opinions about college.

Dunn is the first person in his family to graduate from high school, and he’s a freshman this year at N.C. State University. He’s majoring in agriculture and wants to work in the pork industry when he graduates.

But he still feels different from his classmates, he told the New York Times.

“I am just a poor white boy from Rose Hill, N.C. [population 1,600], that has nothing but what I have on my back and my vehicle,” he said in the piece. “Now I have friends with parents who will buy them anything and give them gas money.”

The other North Carolina student featured, Richard Livingston, is still in high school in Wallace, North Carolina (population 4,000). He’s taking most of his classes online right now, since his high school doesn’t offer many advanced placement courses.

He wants to become a doctor after college and come back to his home county, where 28 percent of people live in poverty. He’s applied to eight schools — including UNC. But he’s got some of the same worries as Dunn.

“We hear stories about these giant classes of 300 kids — and these kids, they just know a lot more than us,” he told the New York Times. “That is something that is scary.”

Read the full New York Times story here.

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